The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.

Pre-Christmas colour

Winter. It's been particularly mild thus far, but while December is classed as a winter month, it's rarely seen as that bitterly cold snow covered scene on the cards shared at this time of year.

The first 'Christmas Rose' is unfurling along with blue and pink buds of primulas 

Silvery markings on cyclamen above with emerging buds on viburnum. 

Winter jasmine is the only flower in full swing in the garden.  The tiny sweet scented blooms appear for the first time on viburnum bodatense 'dawn'. There are two clusters on the pink winter flowering variety in the pink garden.  Once fully established I'm certain it will fill this space with welcome winter loveliness.

A single pink 'New Dawn' rose clings onto life while it's leaves are passing. 

This lovely rich hue is supplied by Pittosporum tenufolium Tom Thumb above, now it's leaves have all turned shiny purple. Below is a hebe in a very similar vibrancy. 

A new acquisition is a cornus alba 'Baton Rouge' which has a stunning red bark and promises red foliage.  
It was my birthday last month, and with money from my dad and step-mum it took me a while to find this fantastic plant to brighten up this space behind the bird bath.  It's positioned in perfect eyeline from my seat inside the house and creates a lasting reminder of them.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Leaf litter

For my birthday, TMTC gave me a garden shredder and a leaf blower/vacuum. 

And then it rained.

Or we had plans.

So as soon as we were able, he shredded all the hedge trimmings and I blew all the fallen leaves into piles.  TMTC had to do the hoovering part of the leaf collection as I wasn't strong enough to manage it with what is still a very weak arm.

The leaf vac shreds the leaves also, to help speed up the composting. 

Our new compost bin in now almost full of shredded leaf litter.  The blackbirds shouldn't be able to get at them this year!

The Clearing Begins

Some plants I prefer to leave over winter to provide food and shelter for wildlife, or remain looking good over the winter with a little frost to decorate.  Others however are looking decidedly tatty and so the back garden was given a tidy up this week.

The pink Japanese anemone spreads like mad in this corner. The whole plant was cut down and the unwanted sections removed.  Also in this corner the zebra thuggish grass was dug up.  We may have to keep an eye on this area as it sends out runners under the soil.

The fuchsia has been removed further along this bed, creating a good planting space for next year.  I haven't decided on the replacement yet.

Three clematis have had a hard prune.

The water feature in the Yen Garden has been emptied, cleaned and stored in a frost free spot in the shed.  The plants have been put into the pond until the spring. 

The remaining wall planters were stripped and the Japanese anemone in front of the shed was also cut back hard.  A new handle has been attached to the shed door.

Long strappy leaves from the crocosmias either side of the arch have been removed. 

'Flo' has been returned to her usual place and a handle has been added to this shed too.

Finally, the working area has been tidied up with the bags of compost being stacked up the corner.  A fourth compost bin, gifted from a neighbour, had been positioned ready to be filled by all the pruning and dying bedding plants from this week's spruce up.

Around the garden, leaves are falling, revealing some stunning stems of dogwood and birch. 

Next comes the front garden. 

It is most definitely Autumn

Come said the leaves to the wind one day,

Come o'er the meadows and we will play.

Put on your dresses scarlet and gold,

For summer is gone and the days grow cold.

George Eliot 

Two of the bird boxes that are really just for decoration were given a lick of paint, along with the front and one side of the bottom shed.

I'm really rather pleased with the result.

Rambling Rose in Print!

I'd completely forgotten about sending in a quick photo to one of the gardening magazines.   It was a very pleasant surprise therefore to recognise the view from my sofa!

Lazy Sunday

TMTC simply loves these lazy days at week's end when the sun is shining and there's nothing planned.

And then I think it's time to get some plantpot feet to help the new containers survive winter so we 'just nip out' to the big diy store the other side of the city.  While there, I'm to look for 'icy cold' looking plants for Bumblebee's pot.  And there's fence paint of darkest brown to choose for the front garden....oh and since we're that way, paint for the shed at the bottom of the garden in two tones of green.  On reading the guide on the latter, we'll need to sand it down so sandpaper and paint brushes as ours have seen better days.

But they have sold out of pot a trip to our local garden centre is a must.  The guy at the garden centre is setting up his Christmas display and is more than happy to switch on the little train winding in and out of the various seasonal produce.

What's not to love about these lazy Sundays? 

Oh yes.  Of course now we have the plants, feet and sandpaper,  there's work to do!

A white tipped euonymous is the backbone of Bumblebee's pot, with 3 blue-white violas, 3 blue primulas with white eyes, and a variegated ivy draping over the edge.

There are a lot of buds on the rhododendron in the Yen Garden.  Some are leaf buds and others are flower buds.

The fence erected by our neighbour doesn't look so bad from the bottom. It just needs a lick of paint.

TMTC set to sanding down the shed to prepare it.

All we have to do now is paint...the fence above the bottom shed, the shed, the fence in the front garden and the fence along the drive.  I can hear someone praying for rain...